The Art of Auditioning, Second Edition: Techniques for Television

The Art of Auditioning, Second Edition: Techniques for Television

by Rob Decina
The Art of Auditioning, Second Edition: Techniques for Television

The Art of Auditioning, Second Edition: Techniques for Television

by Rob Decina


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Learn how to ace your acting audition from a top casting director!

Casting director Rob Decina highlights the difference between the craft of acting and the business of auditioning, and how those two worlds meet in television. Included are proven-effective preparation techniques, such as breaking down a scene, making specific choices, finding the acting moments with thoughts and feelings, and much more. Also included is advice on how to navigate the various steps of auditioning for series regular, guest star, and co-star roles, and an examination of the differences between audition preparation and theatrical preparation and training. In-depth information on how to succeed with on-camera and self-tape auditions is also provided.

This second edition includes both new and updated tips, as well as reflections on the original edition’s advice. Most importantly, Rob explains a new short-form version of his audition technique as an effort to streamline the process for faster and more creative results.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781621537984
Publisher: Allworth
Publication date: 04/19/2022
Pages: 216
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

ROB DECINA is a New York-based television casting director and executive with almost thirty years of experience. His career has spanned from primetime television, daytime drama, and film, to casting for one of the most prolific television studios for dramas and comedies. He has credits across several networks, cable, and streaming platforms including CBS, NBC, The CW Network, Showtime, Paramount+, Netflix, Disney+, and Apple TV.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xv

Introduction xvii

Chapter 1 This Is a Business 1

Acting Is a Business, a Business of One 1

Time Management 2

Your Job-Job 3

This Is a Relationship-Driven Business 3

Chapter 2 Auditioning and the Craft of Acting 5

Acting Is a Craft 5

Chapter 3 An Audition is Not a Performance 7

Choose Obtainable Goals 8

Auditioning and Performing Are Two Different Things 10

When an Audition Becomes a Performance 11

Proof an Audition Is Not a Performance 12

Chapter 4 Audition Philosophy 13

Truth in Numbers 14

Establish a Relationship 15

Free Yourself by Removing Expectations 17

Offer Your Gift 18

Chapter 5 First Audition 20

Type A: The Audition and Meeting 20

Showing Potential Is the Key 21

Theatrical Preparation versus Audition Preparation 23

An Audition Is Not Workshop Time 24

Memorization 24

Type B 25

Chapter 6 The Callback 26

Type 1 26

The Immediate Callback 27

Type 2 27

Type 3: The Silent Callback 28

Don't Change Your Choices 28

How to Make Progress from Potential 29

Your Callback Audition for a New Role 30

The Perception of You Changes 31

Chapter 7 The Screen Test 32

The Business Side 32

The Screen Test Day 33

Screen Test Memorization 33

Chapter 8 On the Clock 35

Chapter 9 General Audition Information and Advice 38

Make Specific Choices and Fill in All the Blanks 38

An Example of Who the Characters Are 39

An Example of What Happened 40

Asking Questions 40

A Solution to the Challenge 42

Sit or Stand; It's Your Choice 42

No Blocking 44

No Props 45

A Prop Mistake 45

No Miming 45

Chapter 10 The Audition Technique 47

Chapter 11 Beats and Beat Changes 49

Beat Changes Are in the Script 50

Write on Your Sides 50

Don't Overthink the Beat Changes 60

Chapter 12 Major Beat Change 64

Determining the Major Beat Change 65

Indicate the Major Beat Change 65

Significance of the Major Beat Change 68

One Crucial Moment 69

New Thoughts on Beats/Beat Changes/Major Beat Change 70

Chapter 13 Subject Word 71

Example Subject Words 72

Write the Subject Words Down 72

A Reference Point 75

Chapter 14 Feeling Word 76

Determining the Feeling Words 77

Justify Your Choices 77

An Example: Justification 78

Example: Feeling Words for the Man in the Scene 78

Example: Feeling Words for the Woman in the Scene 82

Variations to Your Choices 86

No Indecisive Feelings 89

Acting Lesson 90

Chapter 15 Summary (So Far) 91

Notes to the Test Are on Your Sides 91

Chapter 16 Major Objective 93

Major Objective and Major Beat Change Are Connected 93

Take Action 94

The Major Objective Is About What You Want for You 96

Major Objective Creates a Natural Level of Subtext 97

Keep It Simple 98

Positive Result 98

Remind Yourself of the Major Objective Before You Begin 99

Don't Forget to Be an Actor 99

Chapter 17 Short-Form Technique 101

Best Acting Moment 102

What Do I Want? 103

Win or Lose 103

Find and Create Acting Moments 103

Chapter 18 Dictate the Pace 105

Pick Up Your Cues 106

Don't Blame the Reader 106

Chapter 19 Think and Feel On the Lines 108

Don't Anticipate 108

Use the Beat Changes 109

Chapter 20 Subtext 110

Literal Sincere-Feeling Lines 110

Chapter 21 The Right Approach, the Right Attitude 112

Enjoy the Experience 112

Be Confident 113

Chapter 22 Beginnings and Endings 114

Opening Line 114

The Moment Before 115

Entering Frame 115

Tag Line 116

Exiting Frame 117

Chapter 23 High Stakes and Urgency 119

The Audition Scene Is Important 119

Chapter 24 Spontaneity and Listening 121

Chapter 25 Voice and Speech 123

Natural and Conversational Tone 123

Spatial Relationship 123

Don't Project 124

No Word Is More Important than Any Other Word 124

Chapter 26 Charm, Personality, and Passion 126

Passion 126

Chapter 27 The Acting Part 127

Chapter 28 Don't Forget to Breathe! 129

How to Remind Yourself 130

Use Your Feeling Word 130

Chapter 29 The On-Camera Audition 132

Camera versus Stage Auditions 132

What to Expect in the Tape Room 133

Do I Look at the Camera? 134

You Have to Jump Off the Screen 135

Slating 135

What to Wear 136

Use the Camera to Your Advantage 136

Chapter 30 The Self-Tape Audition 138

Your Home Setup 138

Production Values 140

Self-Tape Audition Technique Is About Control 140

Control versus a Trap 141

How Many Takes Should You Do? 141

The Reader Dilemma 142

The Virtual Reader 142

Should You Be Your Own Reader? 143

Deadlines and Instructions 143

Self-Tape Slate 144

Chapter 31 The Virtual Audition 145

Don't Overcompensate 145

The Virtual Chemistry Read 146

Chapter 32 The Cold Reading Audition 147

Chapter 33 The Co-Star Audition 148

Do Your Job 148

How to Book It 149

Co-Star Audition Goes Wrong 150

Don't Protect a Career You Do Not Have Yet 151

Chapter 34 I Wouldn't Do That if I Were You 152

Do's 152

Don'ts 152

Get In and Get Out 153

Don't Forget Your Props and Stuff 154

Chapter 35 Building a Relationship with the Casting Director 155

The Follow-up and Staying in Touch 155

How to Begin That Relationship 156

No Tricks, Please 157

Chapter 36 The Business of Acting and a Career 158

Learn the Craft 158

Talent Is a Guarantee of Nothing 159

The Business 159

The Business Approach 160

Create Your Own Work 160

Demo Reels 161

Chapter 37 Getting an Agent or a Manager 162

Go to School 162

Write to the Assistant 163

Get a Friend to Help You 164

Chapter 38 Headshots and Resumes 165

Look Like Your Picture 165

One Shot Only, Please 165

Headshots in a Digital World 165

Chapter 39 The Workbook 166

Make the Workbook 166

Write Down the Questions 167

Short-Form Audition Technique Workbook 168

Track Your Progress 169

Chapter 40 So, You Want to Be a Casting Director 171

Audition Room Pointers for the CD 172

Giving Notes in an Audition 172

Structure of a Note 172

Generic Wash Notes 173

My Favorite Note to Give 173

Listening and Transitional Notes 173

Don't Give Up Acting Moments 174

If You Only Had One Note to Give 174

When Not to Give a Note 175

Leave It Alone 175

Don't Be a Bad Note Giver 175

Chapter 41 Some Review and Some New 177

Prep Time versus Audition Time 177

Control What You Can Control 177

Have a Sense of Urgency 178

Size of Role/Competition/Money/Approvals 178

Transition from College/Conservatory Training to Camera 179

Audition Sides Are Relationship-Driven or Occupation-Driven 179

Auditioning and Getting Cast Summed Up 179

Empowerment of Self-Permission 180

It's About the Truth 180

Chapter 42 Final Advice 181

Your Obligation and Commitment 181

Find Your Acting Space 182

You Can Do This 182

The Television Audition Technique 183

Look Yourself in the Mirror 183

The Core Truth 184

My Casting Director Perspective 184

Good Luck 185

About the Author 186

Index 187

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